The truth about the 'cleanse diet'

The truth about the 'cleanse diet'
Dietician Candice O’Hare says, like any diet, it’s important to be careful with the cleanse.
Dietician Candice O’Hare says, like any diet, it’s important to be careful with the cleanse.

(KFVS) - Everyone remembers the Atkin's Diet, Slim Fast, the Cabbage Soup Diet; they're the all eating plans nutrition experts call "fad diets." The next big thing is the Cleanse Diet.

Some who have used it swear by it, saying it really works, but the question is, how healthy is it?

According to people who use the Cleanse Diet, there are several different forms. With some cleanse diets you can only eat vegetables and drink water, with others only juice is allowed. Some cleanse diets last three days or a few weeks, while some are supposed to last a lifetime.

Dieticians say none of them are the healthiest way to go, but if you only do it for a few days, the good news is it likely won't hurt you.

For about three weeks, Patrick Koetting only shopped in the vegetable aisle.

"It was insane. My energy levels were all over the place, my mood was all over the place," Koetting said. "It's not a smart idea. It's probably not a good idea for anybody to do it for that duration and that extreme."

He ate only vegetables and drank lots of water. He says it was the first step in his transformation. He started at 232 pounds and now weighs between 160 and 165.

Koetting did the Cleanse Diet before the Cleanse Diet was cool, three years ago.

"I didn't know about cleansing, I didn't know about any of this stuff, but I just ate raw vegetables," Koetting said. "It was tough, it was insane because I'm a 3,000, 4,000 calorie a day eater and to just cut back to 500 calories maybe."

After those three weeks, Koetting switched to a healthy, vegetarian diet, ultimately a healthy lifestyle.

Dietician Candice O'Hare said, like any diet, it's important to be careful with the cleanse.

"When you're evaluating those diets, you want to make sure that it's endorsed by a registered dietician," O'Hare said.

While Koetting used The Cleanse as a way to start over, some use a form of cleansing full-time.

"I take four [pills] a day," Treena Hillis said.

Hillis takes a cleansing pill before each meal. She said she eats the same as she always has, but the Bio Cleanse Pill has helped her lose almost 18 pounds so far.

"I was stuck at this weight for three months. I could not get it off," Hillis said.

Hillis said a nurse recommended the diet.

"It's all natural, so it's all healthy," Hillis said.

O'Hare said even with all the "fad diets," still the safest road to weight-loss is a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle.

"It has to be behavior modifications, it can't be quick fixes," O'Hare said.

O'Hare said a good rule to go by is to ask yourself whether or not what you're doing now to lose weight is something you can maintain long-term. If not, it may be time to re-evaluate your lifestyle change.

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